In a shocking revelation, a new report by the Network Contagion Research Institute (NCRI) has accused over 200 prestigious US universities, including Carnegie Mellon, Cornell, Harvard, and MIT, of receiving $13 billion in “undocumented contributions from foreign governments” between 2014 and 2019.
According to the report, the funds were given by various authoritarian regimes such as Qatar, Saudi Arabia, China, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which raises concerns about the possible influence of these countries on American campuses. Notably, several elite institutions, including Carnegie Mellon and Cornell, received the most significant amounts of money, with Qatar being the top contributor at $2.7 billion.
The NCRI report also reveals that a large portion of the donations was not declared to the US Department of Education, making it difficult to track the source and purpose of the funds. This raises concerns about the potential impact on the democratic norms of pluralism, tolerance, and freedom that these institutions are meant to promote.
In response to the report, Cornell University stated that it has received funding of over $1.3 billion since 2012 to operate a medical school in Qatar. The university also emphasized the collaboration’s success, which has graduated over 500 students, including those from the Middle East, Asia, and the United States. Other universities mentioned in the report did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The NCRI report highlights the growing cases of anti-Semitism on college campuses during the same period as the donations. The authors of the report noted that the influx of foreign, concealed donations has led to the erosion of democratic norms on campuses, resulting in hostility towards Jews, open inquiry, and free expression.
In recent weeks, there has been a disturbing rise in anti-Semitic incidents on college campuses, including a Harvard student being surrounded by pro-Palestinian students during a demonstration and a Cornell professor expressing support for the Hamas terror attack on Israel. Several colleges have also reported swastikas, anti-Jewish propaganda, and threats made against Jewish students, leading to increased security and police patrols.
The report highlights the need for greater transparency and accountability in the higher education system and stricter regulations on foreign donations. It also raises questions about the impact of foreign funding on academic freedom and the values of diversity and inclusion that universities claim to uphold.
In response to the recent surge in anti-Semitic incidents, several organizations, including the Anti-Defamation League, have called on universities to take a stronger stand against bigotry and hate on campus. As the situation continues to escalate, it is essential for universities to address the issue of foreign funding and uphold their responsibility to promote inclusivity and democratic values on campus.